Public Service committed to achieving sustainable development goals

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar addresses a conference on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Dolmen Hotel, St Paul's Bay

The Principal Permanent Secretary Mr Mario Cutajar has highlighted that the United Nations’ statistics on countries achieving their sustainable development goals testify to the government’s continued commitment through the Public Service – its right hand. In fact, the latest classification league table from the United Nations has put Malta in 32nd place among 166 countries. Malta had a total of 76 points out of 100.

Mr Cutajar was addressing a conference on strategic and long-term policy planning, organised as part of the European Week for Sustainable Development, which has the theme of working together for a sustainable future.

The Principal Permanent Secretary explained that our planet’s resources are lent to us and are also to be enjoyed by those who follow us. The goals for sustainable development do not only focus on the environment. The directorate dealing with these targets is now under the umbrella of the Prime Minister’s Office. This was so as to allow for more horizontal coordination with all ministries.

For the first time, last year an elaborate exercise took place which led to aligning Budget 2020 measures with the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. In the 2020 Budget we had a record of measures, and with each measure we knew to what goals it would contribute. An action plan has been drawn up building on the achievement of these targets.

 This alignment exercise resulted in identifying targets that were least affected or not affected. Measures supplementary to those of the Budget have been designed to address them as well.

 Mr Cutajar said that the statistics show that Malta has maintained very good results with regard to the targets on poverty eradication, education, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth. At the same time, we recognised that there was more to be done with regard to the climate, as well as responsible consumption and production.

 Sustainable development, continued Mr Cutajar, touches every area of governmental work and takes place through good governance and political will. Sustainable development can only be achieved if there is a collective effort and synergy in the actions taken by all ministries, departments and entities.

 In order to ensure this synergy, a new website for sustainable development was launched, where one can access the latest updates and also follow the progress made by our country on the indicators established by Eurostat. A set of national strategies listed by sectors is also available. This makes it easier for the public to keep abreast of various policies, and assists government officials in shaping new policies in order to ensure joint work, said the Principal Permanent Secretary.